Johannesburg: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today held bilateral meetings with the presidents of Argentina and Angola on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit and discussed ways to boost ties, including in areas of energy and agriculture.
Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted a photograph of Prime Minister Modi and Angolan President Joao Lourenco together at the start of the talks. “Bilateral meetings continue for PM @narendramodi in Johannesburg! With the President of Angola Joao Lourenco. Discussed intensifying relations in trade and investment, agriculture & food processing, pharma, oil and natural gas. #IndiaatBRICS,” Kumar said in the tweet.
India and Angola have traditionally enjoyed friendly ties. India supported the Angolan freedom struggle against the Portuguese colonial rule till it attained independence in 1975. India has become the third-largest trading partner of Angola, sharing about 15 per cent of that country’s external trade. Angola remained the second-largest source of crude oil for India, after Nigeria, in the Sub-Saharan Africa, according to information available on the MEA website.
There are estimated 4,000 people of Indian-origin in Angola holding passports of different nationalities. The Prime Minister’s Office tweeted that both leaders “discussed ways to enhance cooperation in trade, energy and other sectors.” In another tweet, the PMO said Modi held a separate bilateral meeting with Argentine President Mauricio Macri.
“Accelerating ties with Argentina. During their meeting, Presdent @mauriciomacri and PM @narendramodi talked about strengthening relations especially in the areas of agriculture, pharmaceuticals and investment (sic),” the PMO tweeted. As president of the G20, Macri was invited to participate in the BRICS Summit.
The two leaders previously met on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Hangzhou, China, in September 2016. That time, Modi had thanked Macri for supporting India’s membership bid at the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group. Modi arrived in Johannesburg on Wednesday to attend the two-day BRICS Summit. The theme of the summit this year is ‘BRICS in Africa’.
BRICS is a grouping of emerging nations formed in 2009 and comprises five countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Representing over 4o per cent of the world’s population, the block’s growth rates surpass those of the developed countries of the G7.